Kristen Guy Copywriting

Month: September 2017

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Marketing

Keyboard with "Error" key

Does this marketing scenario sound familiar? You send out a customer email, hoping to boost sales of your newest product. Instead, you get little to no response. What went wrong?

Many marketers make errors in their copy that affect sales, yet they don’t even realize they’re making mistakes. Here are 5 common marketing errors, and how you can keep from making them.

Mistake #1: Talking About Yourself

Ever met someone at a party who didn’t ask you anything about you, but happily droned on and on about himself? You likely grew tired of the conversation quickly, and made the excuse of needing another drink to get out of the conversation.

If you talk too much about your business, your customers won’t hang around either.

Now I get it…you’re proud of your company. Maybe you’ve been in business since 1955, reached $4.5 million in sales last year, and are about to launch a new product.

Just don’t fool yourself into thinking your prospects will be as interested as you are. After all, they’re seeking you out because they’re hoping you can help them with a problem they have.

Perhaps that problem is bad breath, a lagging social life, or a wrecked car. If you start your sales pitch by talking about yourself and how great your company is—rather than how you can help customers solve their problems and achieve the outcome they want—they’ll be gone faster than a group of kids chasing an ice cream truck.

What to do instead: Rather than talking about yourself, focus on your customers’ problem and offer a solution. Rework your marketing to speak to their needs, wants, and desires rather than how great your company is. If you do, they’re more likely to hang around to continue the conversation.

Mistake #2: Leading with Features

If you’ve got a hot new product, you may be tempted to list every feature it offers. After all, you likely designed it to be the next big thing and you want your prospects to know how great it is.

But if you do this, you’ll lose customers. Why? It’s a similar issue to talking too much about yourself.

What to do instead: Your prospects sought you out to fix a problem they have. To satisfy that, you must tell them what your product will do for them. Explain the benefits!

If prospects have bad breath, let them know your mouthwash kills germs that cause morning breath. If their love life is non-existent, explain how your service can help them find a compatible mate. If they need a new car, describe how easy and affordable it is to buy one at your dealership.

Once they believe your product can help them, they’re likely to hang around longer to find out more.

Mistake #3: Throwing in the Kitchen Sink

Some products have multiple features that seem too good not to mention. Consider this example. You’re about to launch a new smart phone that lets you talk, text, send faxes, shoot photos, order your groceries online, video your son’s piano recital, pay next month’s rent in advance, walk the dog and make dinner. Phew!

Now those are some pretty impressive features. And marketers often feel they need to list every single thing their beloved product can do. But this is a mistake.

Why? Because your prospects are getting hit by marketing messages from multiple advertisers, not just you. If 10 different smart phone companies advertise their 10 best features to a prospect in a single day, how many of your features do you really think they’ll remember? Maybe 1 or 2, if you’re lucky.

What to do instead: Focus on one key feature and benefit. By doing so, you’ll be able to develop a simpler, more focused message that will be easier for your prospects to remember.

Mistake #4: Using Poor Design

We’ve already established that you have a great product. It has valuable features that can solve your customers’ problems. You’ve made sure your marketing copy addresses your prospects’ desires, focuses on one key message, and leads with benefits. Now it’s time to create the design for your marketing piece.

Sadly, this is where many marketers fall short. If budgets are tight, they may try to design the work themselves. Or if they’re rushed, they may go with the first design they see and rush it out the door.

If you’ve made the effort to develop strong copy, don’t settle for so-so design work. In marketing, the text and design work hand-in-hand. The visuals must be striking and attention-getting to attract the customer in the first place. The copy then must work hard to maintain the prospects’ attention by speaking to their needs and explaining how the benefits will make their lives better. If you’re not careful, your marketing campaign could fail because the design doesn’t match up to the copy.

What to do instead: Hire a good designer who understands the rules of effective design. Linking strong copy with appealing visuals will create a marketing message that your prospects will remember.

Mistake #5: Ignoring the Details

In marketing, every detail counts. You may not believe it, but a single typo or grammar error can leave prospects wondering about your professionalism. After all, if you’re careless about your own marketing, prospects may wonder if you’re also careless about your product design, manufacturing process and customer service.

What to do instead: After your designer has placed your marketing copy into layout, proofread it. Then proofread it again. If you don’t have a skilled proofreader in-house, hire one. It’s a minor expense to ensure you display your business in a professional manner. When all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, prospects will view your company as a professional organization that takes care to present their best face to the public. As a result, you will be more likely to win prospects over, earn their trust, and turn them into repeat customers.

These 5 mistakes may seem minor, but avoiding them will go a long way to helping your business present a professional, credible front to your prospects and customers. And that’s what will keep them coming back.

Need help correcting any of these mistakes in your copy? Click here to learn more about the services offered by Kristen Guy Copywriting, Inc.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at